The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29
(Reply to G. & H.)
(Reply to G. & H.)
Nov. 10, 1877.Jas. L. Ridgely, Esq., G. Cor. and Rec. Secy., G.L.U.S., I.O.O.F.
Dear Sir and Brother,—
'Yours dated Aug. 23, Sept. 29, and Oct. 1, including officer's advance reports and Daily Journals of the G.L.U.S. for Sept. 1877, has been received, for which accept my hearty thanks. The A.T.P. was handed over to my worthy successor, Bro. Jas. McGaw, who will write to you. The gist of the above apprises us that the G.L.U.S. intends to send out a Commissioner, with power to adjust errors; also, that we must retire our Clearance Cards, and substitute yours in lieu, thereof. In view of these facts, it is unwise to discuss the matter further. We recognise the necessity of uniformity, and will support any legitimate steps to effect this end. You can quite understand now that we printed our own Card in ignorance of any obligations to the contrary. We feel grateful to the G.L.U.S. for taking such a lively interest last session in our welfare, and we shall certainly do our best to give the G. Sire or D. G. Sire a fraternal welcome Although we will at all times be glad to see any of our American brothers, (especially the two mentioned,) yet personally I think the complications could be easily adjusted by active correspondence, and so save a large amount of money to the G.L.U.S. Our own brothers who have visited America and returned, state that we are well up in the work. I observe that a letter appears from Bro. Meacham in your Daily Journal; but he does not detail what powers he conferred respectively on the G. Lodges of Australia and New Zealand. Remarks from him on these points would be interesting at the present time. I lately came across a volume giving a history of the Order in the United States, from its commencement, 1821, to 1845. From a beginning of five brothers, what marvellous success you have achieved primarily through the unprecedented exertions and efforts put forth by the early fathers! It must be gratifying to you to know that you were closely identified with its infancy, growth, and progress, and been spared to see it assume its present dimensions (about 500,000 financial members). Although there are many worthy brothers, yet if we were all of the same composition as Wildey and Ridgely, our Order would soon traverse the whole civilized globe. You say that Nature's infirmities may compel you to vacate the position you have held for thirty-seven years. We hope you will live long to enjoy good health, and be spared to your family and retention of the office you have filled so well. The voluminous correspondence in your yearly reports that has your honored name attached to it, abundantly testifies that not alone is your head, but your heart, in the cause of Oddfellowship.
The subject matter connected with the separation of our Order and the Manchester Unity, and the important part you played therein, reflect the greatest credit upon you. On this question, let the past bo buried, and rather let us deal with the future. Many brothers of both Orders are grieved at the continued division, and believe that judicious concessions on both sides, with a view to the amalgamation of the two great branches of the I.O.O.F., should bo entered into, consistent with the material and moral improvement of each. Have you a Government Friendly Societies Act, and are your Lodges registered under it ? Have they got one in Germany, and what is the difficulty that the Lodges there are experiencing in this matter ? There is a F. S. Act in England, and it is an easy matter for our Lodges there to be registered under it, providing their dues and benefit scales are soundly constructed. We are registered in page 49 Australia and N. Z. right enough. Let me enjoin upon you to urge the G.L.U.S. to put in force a sound system of dues and benefits in every Lodge, so as to enable the Order to fulfil its obligations, and thereby secure the confidence of everybody. If this is secured, our success in the future is assured. I shall always be glad to hear from you, and will forward you any news of importance that may crop up.
Josh. Braithwaite, P.G.M.P.S.—Have wrote to Bro. A. Fairlie re our Order in London.